Daily Lessons, Language, Math, Parenting

21 Months and his own little person

As Mr. 1 grows into his own personality, it is becoming more and more obvious how different these children are from each other. The differences always surprise me because until recently, Mr. 1 could have been a visual clone of Mr. 3. He is slowly starting to look different from when his brother was this small.

Mr. 1 is obsessed with colors, and continually makes a game of bringing me a toy and telling me what color it is. And if he doesn’t know the color he just says “ah” and thrusts the toy at me repeatedly until I tell him what it is.

He already knows and says, “Gween” (green), “Wa-hite” (white), “Purplepurplepurple” (purple), “Blooo!” (blue), “Orang” (Orange). He still has a little trouble with Red, Yellow, and Black, but I have no doubt he will learn them soon.

2017-11-12_11-02-57_023

What I remember most about this stage for Mr. 3 was an intense love of puzzles, and playing with Mega Blocks for hours. On the contrary, Mr. 1 likes (not loves) puzzles, and spends most of his time with construction trucks or cars. Mr. 1 can also catch a ball tossed softly to his chest. (Some of his recent words include “Beach Ball” and “Football”).

Mr. 3 still hasn’t quite got the hang of the catching skill, but boy can he throw.

Mr. 1 has a 70% success rate with jumping, and can dribble a soccer ball about as well as his big brother. I think he just might be an athlete.

At this age both boys love(d) reading, and Mr. 3 still loves reading at 3 so I don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

Mr. 3 is currently in another puzzle phase, and is also interested in shapes and numbers. At lunch the other day he arranged all of his apple slices around his plate and told me he had made an Octagon. I counted nine slices so I told him that is a nonagon. Then we talked about different polygons and their names for a while. He liked asking our friend Alexa (Amazon Echo) for definitions of the different polygons.

We’ve also been keeping busy with different art projects. We did some chalk coloring on a broken cardboard box. I also bought a large bag of Christmas stickers at Hobby Lobby for $3, and we worked on making some holiday cards.

 

And finally, an update on the mystery guest in my belly:

2017-11-12_16-36-40_997

At 16 weeks I have felt movement a few times, but nothing consistent. I am excited about this stage of the pregnancy, because it is finally starting to feel like a little person in there.

 

 

Advertisements
Daily Lessons

New Leaf

I’m feeling much better! I still have frequent headaches and need to nap every day, but I am feeling mostly better!

I’ve been directing my newfound energy and willpower to my kids, and I am noticing their response.

First, I have started offering open art activities again. We are staying simple, because that is what they like best, and also it is easiest to set up. We have done chalk on construction paper, and watercolors with permanent marker pictures. We also made more flags because Mr. 3 has been interested in racing and racing flags. (He asked for this himself, and that made me SO happy!)

2017-10-10_15-10-44_946

Mr. 3 has reached a new art milestone. A few months ago he was drawing circles that were… circles. Now he draws circles that are “train tracks” or “rocket ships with windows that are train tracks” or “elephant intestines”. He’s telling stories with his art, which is new and exciting. It means he feels he can express his interests, even if it’s just the same circles!

Mr. 1 makes one type of movement (horizontal line to the right) so I think changing up the materials will help keep him interested.

Second, I’ve been getting on the floor to play with them every once in a while. They are fairly independent players but I want to show them that I am interested in their games and I ask questions about what they are doing. I ask questions when I lay on the couch, too, but it feels so distant.

We’ve been reading as much as ever, which I am happy to do. I’ve included some Halloween books to help get the kids excited about the holiday.

Mr. 3 has been asking a lot of questions that make me feel like he is really trying to learn reading and math. He asks “how many train pieces am I holding?” and “what if I put two down?” and when we walk by stores or signs he asks, “what does that sign say”? This has been a recent change in his questions which usually are more “Why [repeat whatever Mommy just said].”

I hope things are going well for you, too!

 

About, Parenting

First Trimester Tips

2017-09-19_15-15-11_343

(I don’t know what that second circle is, but the doctor assured me I’m only have one baby. Thank goodness!)

The first three months of pregnancy are probably the most difficult to get through. When asked, I describe myself as “miserable”. The truth is, though, that I could be feeling a lot worse! I have to remember that I am not throwing up, and I can still eat most foods as long as they are fresh. (For some reason, leftovers make me really queasy.)

Here are some tips that I have found to ease my suffering. Hopefully they work for you, too!

  1. Sea Bands – These armbands work great for motion sickness, AND they work for morning sickness too. I used these on all the cruises I’ve been on (especially when pregnant/breast feeding and unable to take Dramamine). I have gone from laying on the couch and bemoaning my misery to being able to play on the floor with the kids again. At least part of the time. It honestly does make a difference, even if it’s just in my head.
  2. Eat frequent, small, and healthy(ish) snacks. Use those few moments you feel okay to slice an apple, cucumber, or similar fruit to have ready. That way as soon as you start feeling icky you can eat a few slices and feel better. I never let me stomach get empty because that is when I feel most like vomiting.
  3. I keep a breakfast bar and bottle of water by the bed so I can have a bite before I get up in the morning.
  4. Take naps whenever you can. Insist on having some “mommy” time, even if it’s just for a quick nap. Your body is going through a lot of changes right now and exhaustion is guaranteed.
  5. Leave the house! I’m starting to realize that if you lay on the couch moaning all day, you will never feel better because all you think about is how sick you feel. But if you go out to the park or museum and are chasing two kids running in opposite directions, you have no time to feel sorry for yourself. Later you will realize that you actually felt okay. Just don’t forget to bring snacks.

Are there any tips that worked well for you? 

 

 

Projects, Science

Fruit Fly Trap

I love these Take and Toss cups. They are so versatile and despite the fact that they are cheap ($3 for 4 cups!) they hold up really well. I use mine for both my 1-year-old and 3-year-old. They are great for smoothies because they have wonderfully thick straws, but we also use them for water and chocolate milk. I even saw a mom use them as snack cups once, and I can see myself doing that too.

My latest use for them has been to make a fruit fly trap.

Do you have fruit flies? They lay eggs on your fruit and then buzz around obnoxiously getting on everything, and it’s really hard to get rid of them.

2017-09-07_09-26-28_884

Basically, you fill the cup 1/3 or half way with left over fruit. If you have a young child, I am sure you have plenty of left over food or banana that has “fallen” to the floor. (My 1-year-old lately just chews on apple and spits it out. I cannot figure out why he won’t swallow it. Even if I cut off the skin he does the same thing. But he always REALLY wants apples…)

Put the lid on the cup, then place a piece of tape over the straw hole. Use a knife to cut a small slit in the tape. (These Washi tapes are too cute! They can be used for innumerable art projects and gift wrapping, too.)

The hole should be big enough for them to crawl in but not big enough for them to easily find their way out. According to WikiHow, who first taught me about making fruit fly traps with old bottles and a paper funnel, the fruit flies are too dumb to find their way back out when the opening is small.

After a few days pour warm soapy water into the cup until all the flies have drowned. Then rinse and repeat.

This has really cut down on the number of fruit flies in our kitchen. They even choose the cup over hovering around the normal fruit bowl.

Continue reading “Fruit Fly Trap”

About

August

The month is almost over! It seems to me that the older we get the faster time seems to go by. You also get a speed boost for each child you have. When I had only 1 child it felt like I had a handle on the passage of time, but with two children I sometimes wake up and realize the month is over already.

The 3-Year-Old

He hasn’t worn a diaper since the beginning of the month, and I am trying to learn to trust him and not nag him so much about “Do you need to pee? Do you need to poo?” I know it is frustrating to him to be asked these questions constantly, but he does still forget to take care of himself sometimes. Still, I am so relieved he has finally made the leap and is mostly accident free, even at night.

He is obsessed with Blippi the TV show. In fact he spent nearly 2 hours watching Blippi on the Kindle today.

I did not let him watch TV until he was nearly two years old, but his brother (who is 1) will follow him around and watch the show with him for as long as it is playing. I’m torn between enforcing limits for the two and letting him learn his limits on his own.

I try to think back to when I was young and single and lived in my own apartment. I watched a lot more TV but I usually only watched it while “studying” or doing homework. I also played a lot of video games. Yes, he is 3, but part of me thinks he should still get to play the games he wants to play.

I had him pause the video and told him how watching too much television wasn’t good for his brain or his body. That he needed to play games and run around so his brain can form new connections, so that he can learn new things, and so that his muscles and bones will stay strong and healthy. Then I took his brother for a nap.

20 minutes later he came into the room and laid down with me. It turns out the Kindle ran out of battery. I told him that made me happy and I reminded him why watching too much television wasn’t good for us. Then he asked me to read 9 books (always 1 more!) and fell asleep pretty quickly after the read-a-thon.

The 1-Year-Old

Mr. 1 has started doing board puzzles.

My favorite is Melissa and Doug Farm Wooden Chunky Puzzle, and his favorite is Melissa & Doug Vehicle Sound Puzzle.

He still has a little trouble turning some of the bigger pieces when they have the little peg, because he insists on using the peg, but he has shown great improvement over the last week.

He is also becoming more independent and wants to do everything himself. Unfortunately, he is also easily frustrated and spends a lot of the time shrieking when something goes wrong. He is trying, and he knows how to ask for help, so I try to be patient and let him learn.

<35> Week Old

It is still early. In fact, I was supposed to get my period today. Instead I have:

  • Nausea and gas
  • Fatigue
  • Fuller, more sensitive breasts
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom
  • Constant thirst and increased hunger

I don’t know if it’s related, but sometimes my spit turns to glue in my mouth. It’s pretty weird.

Mr. 3 keeps asking if I’ve been to the hospital yet, and I have to explain that it will take a while for the baby to be fully grown. Mr. 1 has no idea what’s happening.

I hope you all had a satisfying month!